It’s not the strongest of a species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one that’s most adaptable to change.(Charles Darwin)

I might appear to be one of the least qualified persons in the world to talk about change. My life does not seem to have changed much in fifty-five years.

I have lived in the same city for thirty-nine years. I have been married to the same woman for thirty-three years, have worked in the same church for twenty-three years, and lived in the same house, five kilometers from the home of my childhood, for twenty-one years.

The external circumstances of my life have remained remarkably stable for a long time. It might seem on the surface that I am resistant to change. It might look as if I am stuck in my ways and unwilling to take new risks and launch out into unknown landscapes. There is no doubt my natural inclination is to be cautious. I could never be accused of being a reckless adventurer.

But, although the outer trappings of my life have stayed unusually constant, it would be a mistake to think that I have not experienced change.

Change is not only about what takes place on the outside of our lives. It is quite possible to dramatically alter all of the external circumstances of our lives without ever really changing. In fact, I have known people who changed their external circumstances purely in an attempt to avoid real change within themselves.

It is easy to run away from a relationship that has become difficult when that relationship is challenging me to face something I am not willing to confront. It is tempting to think that a change of job, or a new city, new hobby, or a new church will solve the discontent and unrest that circle around the edges of my life.

True change seldom comes as a result of a change in our external circumstances. The real journeys of our lives are the inner journeys. It may in fact be the very act of staying in the same place or staying faithful in a relationship that causes us to have to embrace life-transforming change.

Obviously there are times when it is essential to make a change. There are relationships that must be abandoned, situations we must leave. But we will make these changes in a much more life-giving way, when they are made from a place within ourselves where we know there is a reality at the centre of our lives that does not change.

Speaking in the voice of the prophet Malachi, God says, “I the Lord do not change.” (Malachi 3:6)

We will embrace change in the external circumstances of our world much more easily when we have experienced that place within ourselves where we know there is an unchanging reality at the centre of the universe that will never let us down. We are able to move into new realities with greater ease when we have found that place at the centre of our beings that is steady and stable. We will change in a more healthy way when we know there are no changes that can threaten the true and deep reality of our lives.